It turns out Italian-American service organizations aren't the only ones who disapprove of Mafia II. According to MEGamers.com, which focuses on gaming in the Middle East, 2K Games' well-reviewed open-world mobster simulator has been banned in the United Arab Emirates.
Though the confederation of Persian Gulf kingdoms such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi didn't reportedly offer a reason for the ban, the game's depiction of violence, language, and nudity was likely a major factor. A character's prolific consumption of alcohol, which is forbidden by the UAE's dominant religion of Islam, was also likely a factor. 2K reps had not responded to requests for confirmation on or the reasons for the reported ban as of press time.
Mafia II's banning comes three weeks after UNICO National, the US's largest Italian-American heritage foundation, asked 2K parent company Take-Two Interactive to not release the game. The organization's president, Andre DiMino, accused Take-Two of "inappropriate and insulting perpetuation of the pervasive and denigrating stereotype of organized crime being the exclusive domain of Italians and Italian-Americans."
In a statement provided to GameSpot, Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick rebuffed UNICO and DiMino's charges. He declared, "Mafia II tells a compelling story about organized crime in America - a subject that for decades has been featured in movies, television shows and novels."
Out on the PlayStation 3, PC, and Xbox 360, Mafia II follows would-be wise guy Vito, a first-generation Italian-American trying to escape a life of poverty during the 1940s and 1950s. Desperate to improve his station, Vito joins his friend Joe in la famiglia with the hopes of rising through the ranks and becoming a made man. Take-Two is touting the game's attention to period detail, going so far as to strike a deal with Playboy to include era-appropriate magazines in the game.